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Things I Think – Thursday July 4th Edition!

 Marriage, Flags, Pizza, Coffee and Star Wars

There seems to be such an influx of news this past week, it is hard to not get caught up in some of it. Regardless, you will get my two cents so love me or leave me. Yes it is July 4th weekend and there are bound to be a bunch of fireworks here so keep reading!

Marriage

circle-dartGay Marriage, seems to be the topic of the week so let’s just dive right into that. Here are my thoughts…I honestly do not care. At the end of the day it really doesn’t affect me or my everyday life and it doesn’t threaten my well being and honestly why do you care so much if you are against it? It’s not your life and would you like it if everyone judged your life? I really don’t care what the bible says, so stop quoting scripture to me, again it doesn’t affect you does it? For every quote you find, I could probably find more. If you take this one thing literally then wouldn’t you have to take everything that way? I mean you can’t pick and choose what want to abide by. Seriously, I mean we would be stoning people for divorces and I could bring up several items which just do not make literal sense, it just can’t happen. So leave religion out of it, if two people love each other and want to get married, more power to them, I don”t care about their sex or race for that matter. Love is love and who are we to stand in the way or judge people or actually condemn them. No one is forcing you to go to the weddings, no one is going to make you participate or get involved in anything you don’t want to.

Speaking of Marriage, my parents just celebrated their 47th wedding anniversary, all I can say is congrats to them. Sure they have their ups and downs like most couples, but you know what? That is effing amazing! I hope I find someone to love and who loves me back and I can spend that amount of time with. There is still time for me, I mean I do plan on living well over 100!

Confederate Flag

circle-dartWith all of this talk about the confederate flag, I had an interesting conversation with my father about it. Having a 26 year age gap can sometimes be very enlightening to get the perspective from someone who is from a totally different era than I am. So he asked me this simple question “what does the flag mean to you?”

It struck me as an odd question but then I stated thinking what does it mean to me? Because I have several thoughts that go through my mind and as I started to answer with a historical meaning, I was interrupted and again asked, “not what you think it stands for, but when you see it what do you think?”  Before I could answer I got a brief history lesson on the civil war (which I actually knew most of it) and then I started to think…when I see that flag what do I think of?

The first thing that comes to mind is the civil war and the confederates, but after that, I mean after I think of that small fraction of what the history of the flag is, I immediately have different thoughts and you are going to be shocked. You see, when I see that flag, all I really can think about are what we call redneck hillbillies who live in the mountains, drink moonshine, are typically prejudice, have no dental plan and wear overalls without shirts. Yes that is what I think of, uneducated people who in my opinion only make this world a worse place because of the miniscule beliefs they have. So no, in my mind I don’t want to be associated with those people, because typically they contribute about nothing to society.

quote   What does the flag mean to you?

Again this is just my first impression when asked that question. Now I do understand the history behind it and why some people want to have it in their lives because of heritage or maybe they like the design and whistle Dixie. I am not saying all people are like what I described but at the end of the day, that is what the flag means to me.

Photo Shoot

Recently a couple of my friends had photo shoots. One was for women over 40 and how sexy they still are and the others are just in the fitness industry or doing the bodybuilding/swimsuit competition stuff. Anyway, more and more I see all of these friends on Facebook with these kick ass pictures. Just this week I was asked for my Harley to be used in a shoot, someone wanted to have some pictures on a motorcycle…of course I said yes. Now how sad is that? My motorcycle will be in a legit photo shoot before me…I want a photo shoot!

Workout Pics

Here is just going to be a small rant I have, but mostly I just giggle. I follow and I am friends with a ton of OCR, fitness and athletic people. Now I understand if your job is a personal trainer and you post workouts for people to do, but most of us have jobs and workout when we can. But Lord Jesus do you have to post a pic every time you go to the gym? Do you really need to check in at the gym on Facebook everyday? I mean I get it, but you know what, I am in OCR and I am a competitive person, but I am not going to post pictures of me running or working out or whatever, I mean there is more to me than that. To me it is a given that I workout right? Do I really need to tell you? Seriously, I don’t see people posting that they are at work everyday? I mean I post a bunch of selfies and sure I do handstands if I am some place cool, but I really only post workout stuff if it was really cool. Here is my approach to all of this social media stuff…each platform is a snapshot of my life and yes I do post a ton of my race pictures because that is what I do for an activity obstacle warriorbut there is more to me than working out and running. That is what I want to start seeing from people, let me see your life as you celebrate it, let us all get to know you and not your sweaty gym pics.

On a side note, I am extremely excited to announce my ankle is healing and I started working out again, here is a pic! P.S. working out again makes me happy!

Star Wars

Star Wars makes me happy. The end! I attended a concert the other night where the Fort Worth Orchestra played start wars music and they finished with the main theme song. Sorry about the video (sorry it’s only on Facebook right now)…the fireworks totally threw me off. So yes, we had lightening, rain, fireworks, and a laser show…so cool!

 Coffee

In case you didn’t know, I love coffee. I start with my day with it every single day and if you want to show me mad love, then do it with coffee! I love going to new cafe’s so it’s not just all Starbucks and honestly the way to my heart is through coffee…just saying.

The love of Pizza

I know I have a section of my blog which is dedicated to finding the ultimate cheesebuger (frankly I am way behind on my reviews) but in case you didn’t know, I also love pizza.  I mean I seriously love the pie! I could eat pizza everyday! I am open to most types, but I am a meat lovers type of guy and I love to try new places or even the pizza trucks! So stay tuned for the best pizza section, because I am on a search for the best slice now!

And by the way, just throwing this out there, but I thought I was in heaven when I met a girl who loves pizza as much as me, runs, does OCR’s, likes adventure and travels…but you really had me at pizza!

Understanding women

yes or noI know what you are thinking…there is no understanding them. Just as I am sure they beat there heads against the wall trying to figure us out too. But at the end of the day I don’t remember trying to date someone being so difficult. What ever happened to the days when it was just a simple yes or no? Maybe that is what I need to do, go old school and write a note!

circle-lightbulbFun Fact – I hate making my bed, but have me over as a guest and I’ll make my bed every-time so you don’t think I’m a slob.

Long Distance

When I was kid it seemed like a long distance relationship was when you were not at school or she lived in the next town. Remember I grew up in a time with corded telephones, we had one main phone and it was in the kitchen, geez that was hard.

But these days I don’t consider it to be much of a big thing. I mean whether you are 4-hours or 20-hours away, I truly believe where there is a will there is a way (of course there must also be a connection). So I pose this question poll to everyone…

circle-question  Worth the ride or just avoid the roller-coaster?

I tend to think that if the person is worth it, then I go for it. Once I want to spend time with someone, I will rearrange my schedule to spend that time. Of course it helps that I can be very mobile with my company, but still, I look at this way, you really never know unless you give it a shot. So if I spend time and money traveling and it doesn’t work out, well then that happens. But I can promise you I will have a ton of memories to cherish and good times will be had. But also don’t get me wrong, I am still going to do my races, ride my motorcycles, workout and do things, I am just going to try and find a creative way to do it together, because no one like eating alone at Applebee’s!

Megalodon

So I think I am going to use this one from now on whenever some asks me what my biggest fear is! I mean I had to look it up and all I could think was…you couldn’t just tell me a big ass shark?

Music

So I like these tunes this week because most of them have a cool summer vibe to them and they make me happy!

Magic – Let your hair down

Pharrell Williams – Come get it Bae

Slighty Stoopid – One bright Day

Heymous Molly – Life’s a Beach

Bonus:

Miguel – Coffee (F***ing)

Okay I hear this just this morning and it made me laugh and I couldn’t resist since I do love me some coffee!

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The Vegas Chronicles

By: Travis E. Blythe

Viva Las Vegas!

Believe it or not, Vegas has to be one of the places I dread going to the most.  I have only been probably three times in my entire life and granted it was for work and conferences, but still I was never a big fan. You see I am not much of a gambler, in fact I really hate to lose my money. However, last year I met a fellow OCR guy and over the course of the six months we have become friends.  So when he said I should come out to Vegas and race the Spartan Super, it sounded like a good thing. I was able to get a free race and a dirt cheap plane ticket, so off I went.

Unfortunately this is not going to be my blog about the Spartan Super, I’ll save that for another time. What I will do though is tell you about my adventures that may have just changed my mind about Vegas. I started the trip by getting in real early in the week, I mean like Tuesday early.  But it was late Tuesday so I basically got in and went right to sleep.

Wednesday

One of the things I dislike the most is being sick. I started to get sick on Monday and now when I woke up on Wednesday, I was full blown in my yearly bronchitis. Dreadful day, but I ended up going and getting some drugs, and I worked most of the day after that. The highlight of the day was going to Camp Rhino after my buddy got off work and get to play for a few hours. I have heard about this place on Facebook and have been waiting to get there and play.  This is basically am adult jungle gym for OCR and ninja warrior type people. Sure they also do boot camps and crossfit there, but the obstacles are the fun part. With my hands still pretty tore up from Battlefrog, I wasn’t able to do the complete WOD, as a matter of fact, we did one round and had to quit because the classes get first priority.  So I spent the majority of my time learning one of the things that slowed me down, the rope climb. I learned the technique and now was rocking up the rope using my feet! Pretty stoked about that! I was even able to meet and talk a little with the owner Julie and she is a really nice and sweet person and way cool.

Thursday

Not much happening on Thursday, I was still feeling really sick and just worked and slept most of the day.  My buddy Jesse wanted to go on a trail run after work, but I wasn’t feeling it and I talked him into tapering his workout some just two day before the race, so we just went hiking where he usually runs. Went on about a 2 mile hike, up and down the hills and park. Got to watch the sun set behind the mountains and I didn’t have to run.

Friday

Up at the buttcrack of dawn to take Jesse to work, I was able to meet up with some of my Facebook friends with who I have never really met. So we had breakfast and talked about what we were going to be doing all day. That is when this EPIC day started taking shape. What started with a conversation around one reality TV show, turned into a full blown trek around town seeing every show we could think of. So in the end, here is what was on our list:

  • Tank’d
  • Pawn Stars
  • Bad Ink
  • Counts Kustoms
  • Stratosphere – do the rides
  • Las Vegas Sign

So of course my mind starts going 100 miles an hour and I thought it would be funny to make a video giving one of the most known Spartan Athletes some grief and try to pawn his spear at the pawn Stars location. So off we go!

Las Vegas Sign

First stop to take some pics in front of the famous welcome to Vegas sign. Luckily we are fast, because as we were pulling in to the parking lot a tour bus arrived and I said we had to move faster and sure enough about 40-50 people got off the bus. But we got there first and took a few pics goofing off and being silly. (I know Shocker) Plus we posed with Spartan Spears just for the hell of it!

Pawn Stars

I am sure you have heard of this show right? Pawn Stars is actually a place called gold and silver.  Sometimes I crack even myself up with the wacky ideas that come into my head. Our morning brainstorming started with me thinking of this place. Then it hit me, why not act like they do on the show, do an interview outside and talk about going in and pawning something.  But it had to be something good, something that they would say no, maybe have an expert look at and tell me it wasn’t authentic or just not worth the crazy amount of money I wanted. Then it hit me, I need to tie it into the Spartan Race we were doing, then it really hit me and the creative juices started flowing.  My friend had his spears in the car from the day before so I called him got the okay and set my plan in motion. Some of you may know, okay who are we kidding, most of you know Matt “The Bear” Novakovich  and that he sells his own autographed spears for like $80 or $100 or something.

So there it was just staring us down, I signed a spear based on his logo and off we went to Pawn Stars.  So we get there and we make the video outside prepping the whole thing.  Here you go:

11159509_10153311297097962_5283471119770058671_nUnfortunately they would not allow us to video inside so the rest of the joke could not take place.  We were able to get some still photos and they played along. The rest of the joke was played out on social media and I have to say, Matt was awesome and played along with it. I can’t wait to finally meet the guy in person. In case you are wondering, we said they told us it was a forgery and not worth a dollar!

Counts Kustoms

IMG_9811So our next stop was Counts Kustoms.  If you have not seen this TV show, you don’t know what you are missing. For the most part they build custom cars. They drive around Vegas and buy peoples old cars and restore them or give them the “Counts” personal touch. No tricks here, we just went in and visited.  They have a ton of cool cars in there, so if you are in the neighborhood, totally check it out, hey its free.

Bad Ink

IMG_9837Another TV show Bad Ink was next on the list. If you don’t know, these guys walk around Vegas and look at peoples tattoos and then they fix them. Most of the time they are cover ups, but all of the time the work is freaking awesome. The name of the shop is PussyKat Tattoo, yes I Taught I Taw a Putty Tat! Unfortunately Dirk and Ruckus were not in, but I was validated! Screenshot 2015-04-28 21.33.52

Tank’d

IMG_9881I have only watched this show once, but it was pretty cool.  These guys build fish tanks and nothing is too big or too small. You can see a lot of their work all over town and in the casinos.  It was cool, the main characters of the show were there and came outside to pose for pics with people.  That was really cool of them and shows they are still down to earth.

So there you have it, that was our epic morning.  We hit all of those place and yet we still had a ton of time left in our day. We actually did go by Stratosphere and we were going to ride the rides but it was way pricy and we all decided it was not worth it.  Maybe next time.

But our day was not done, because you see like any great day of adventure, there is always more. We looked the watch, looked at the map and off to Hoover Dam we went.

Hoover Dam

I had never been here so the 40 minute or so it took to get there was not that bad. What a beautiful place! It was obvious the water lever was down, but none the less, pretty cool.IMG_9937 I got in my gratuitous hardstand pics on both sides of the bridge, however I did have trouble landing on the side facing the bridge. Someone got in my head that I might flip over and I was rushed because we were blocking the sidewalk and I wanted my photographer to get further out in the street and she wouldn’t because of the cars…good grief taking pictures should not be this stressful!

During the car ride we found out we had scored some tickets to get up in the Eiffel Tower, so offer went chasing more adventure.

Eiffel Tower at Paris

IMG_9939I have to say this was a little disappointing. We went up to the top and yes you can see the strip, yes there are some ooh and ahh moments, but if I would have had to actually pay for this…I would have been pissed.  You are stuck inside a cage and it just wasn’t all that…Kinda felt like jail to me…

The only cool thing was watching the fountains.

IMG_9946

So the day is winding down ad we did get the munchies, you know all this tourist stuff is exhausting so we went to Cabo Wabo Cantina and we actually sat on the railing watching the street. This was by far the most entertaining time yet. Watching the bachelor and bachelorette parties stumble up and down the strip was nothing short of hilarious. I mean seriously it was not even 5:00PM yet. Then you have the locals sitting on the sidewalks just pounding beers or margaritas or whatever, throwing their empty cans in the bushes. You also have the people dressed in costumes and you have to pay them to take pictures with them, dang it, they got me twice! (more on that later) Also if you ever want to know where to go clubbing, just stand in one spot and you will get 100 cards in no time from dudes wanting you to come to their club! I love people watching and this was funny, and the sun was still out, I can only imagine what this place turns into when the sun sets.

IMG_9955So off we go, one last stop, we are heading to the New York, New York hotel to ride the roller coaster! But first I got stopped by the storm troopers. I tried to fight it, but they were all like “Mr. Battlefrog this” and “Mr. Battlefrog that”. So I told one of them, I will take a picture with you but I have to be on your back piggy back style and I want your gun. Well, then next thing the guy says is, “you can’t do that, I think my costume will fall apart!” ha ha, that was hysterical. But in the end I had them pic me up, I think we took like 4 different poses and then they wanted to make me a video. So here is my Stormtrooper video!

New York, New York

If there is one thing you need to know about me, I love roller coasters. I love sitting in the very first seat and waving my hands in the air like I just don’t care! It is pretty sad that I live like 20 minutes away from Six Flags and I have not been in like 8 years. But none the less, I feel some summer adventures coming on some roller coasters! Well we went to NY, NY for one reason only, end the day on the roller coaster. It was not a long as I would have liked, but it was fun, it cost $14 per ride in case you are wondering and you can buy your pictures 3-$30, needless to say I do not have pictures. Fun times though!

So that concludes my Friday adventures, after this I went back to my buddies home, we had Tacos and called it a night!

Saturday

The race was run, we went home and took naps…oh the life of masters racing! After the mid-day snooze, I was lucky enough to be invited to the OCR Grinders team dinner. A very cool experience as they honored a boy named Austin. They ran for him at this race and made him a spartan! Very cool.

So off we go on our “Entourage” night out in Vegas. After a little bit of a delay, we finally were able to get to “Old Downtown” and the first stop was container park. IMG_0316

This was a cool place, they have a fire breathing praying mantis out front. Then we walked down the strip, by the Golden Nugget and a few others…pretty cool, they had zip lines overhead and these color things on the ceilings. Not to mention this hair band from hell playing live music at one end.  Again we were treated to all that Vegas has to offer, you know grown men in diapers taking pics with IMG_9992[1]people for money…and this guy================>

Only in Las Vegas can you see this stuff. There was so much more and I could have taken pictures all day.  Needless to say we laughed hard at the people and I for one am grateful I do not live in this or have to see this everyday because I am not sure if I could hold my tongue.

So we end up going to this food truck, more importantly a hamburger food truck called FUKU Burger! Knowing a chef has its rewards and they rewarded us with a little bit of heaven. Next time you are in Vegas, find this truck and get the #1, you will not be disappointed!

After stuffing our grills with these awesome burgers, we round the corner and low and behold a brick traverse wall appears out of nowhere in this back alleyway. So we do what all OCR peeps do, we climb that bitch! After a few minutes of horseplay, we decide to get on the wall and take a group picture. Now here is where that phrase “only in Vegas” has to come from. You have 7-grown ass men climbing a brick wall in an alley and as we all get up on the wall for a picture out of nowhere comes this dude who jumps in front of, one of our guys and I guess his goal was to prove he could climb also. But here is the thing…he couldn’t, that asshat kept falling off the wall and getting back on, I mean even after we all got off and started walking away in disgust that he ruined our glorious photo op, this tool kept trying.  I wish video had been captured, because here is what is going on, you have six guys on the wall, some barely holding on for dear life waiting for the picture to be taken, me in my flip flops up higher than anyone else (yes photographic evidence) and I am yelling at the tool to get off the wall, yelling at our buddy to pull his ass off by his shirt, just yelling. You know stuff like, “hey fucker, get off the wall!” “I will cut you! get off the wall!” “hey asshole, I will beat your face in, get off the wall!”, okay so maybe the last two were my inside voice, but I thought it!  In the end it was okay, we went around the corner and found another wall, this one all in black, no stupid Vegas drunk people trying to photo bomb us. We got the pic, memories forever!

13678_10205474944745414_3153628430250300388_n

Sunday

So sunday we decided to attend the Camp Rhino post Spartan workout. Unfortunately my hamstring and foot issues prevented me from working out, so I did the next best thing…I took video of the poor souls getting their spirits crushed by miss Julie! Here is my video…

Monday

Monday Monday, Come Monday, Manic Monday, what ever song you equate with Monday or just having the case of the Monday’s, I am so ready to go home! At this point I just miss everything and everyone at home, I couldn’t wait to get back and tell everyone about my adventures, but when I actually did get home…no one wanted to know…story of my life.  But before I can go home, how about a workout first? Boy I give that idea two thumbs up! I can’t say no and look like a big puss, especially since I did nothing the day before and I am staying with all these freaking “elite”  workout monsters.  So I did the damn workout, didn’t die and I felt good, none of my injuries were harmed.

IMG_0319One last thing to do before I can blow this Popsicle stand is celebrate my awesome hosts anniversary with them. No complaints there! We went to the triple A affiliate for the NY Mets, the Las Vegas 51’s baseball game. They lost but $1 hotdogs (yes I had 5) were awesome! The picture is my little buddy Gio! Ever go to a baseball game with a 2-year old? Besides the fact that he is a parrot (repeats everything) he is also a barrel of laughs and never stops smiling! Okay one thing I don’t get, they are the Las Vegas 51’s and the logo is an alien on the hat, the mascot looks like a grey Jar Jar Binks from Star Wars and excuse me if I am wrong, but aren’t we in Vegas? I thought area 51 was in New Mexico? I distinctly remember going through Roswell, NM on my way home from my EPIC Ski trip (note to self…backlog that blog, that trip was freaking awesome!) and I thought that is where the aliens were? I’m so confused…

We left in the 8th inning as the visiting team just belted out another 3 run inning and they were up like 8-2. One my way to the airport I go! Exit stage left, Viva Las Vegas, leaving Las Vegas, whatever, I am outta here. Until we meet again sin city!

My name is Travis and I talk to strangers.